February 2009

Basketball

Thank you Donnie Walsh

Isiah Thomas left quite the mess in New York. A bloated payroll built on a roster comprised of underachievers and unhappy campers, who couldn’t even manage to co-exist with a great coach like Larry Brown resulted in a highly dissatisfied fan base in the league’s largest market. In the face of coaching changes, trades, questionable draft picks and media scrutiny they continued only to spiral further downward until things seemed virtually hopeless. This past offseason…

Hockey

The man behind a Killer career

A total of 31 playoff appearances in 32 seasons with the Ottawa 67’s. Over 1,100 wins with almost 500 different players. Nine divisional, three league and two Memorial Cup Championships. The coach behind all of these is the legendary Brian Blair Kilrea, simply known as Killer. Kilrea spent the majority of his playing career in the AHL with the Springfield Falcons under the infamous Eddie Shore. Shore was known to be a difficult owner, making…

Other Sports

Whitfield wins on world stage

His lungs are searing with pain and his heart feels like it’s going to explode out of his chest as it pounding at 180 beats per minute. The heat rises to stifling conditions. The sweat pours down his face and with 500 meters till the finish line he sits in fourth place, 25 meters back from the top three positions. No matter what happens, he knows he will give everything he has to win. He…

Hockey

The art of the comeback

Exactly one year ago today – February 19th, 2008 – the entire hockey world bared witness to the single greatest comeback in the history of the Montreal Canadiens franchise. For a club that has been in existence for a full century, earning the greatest of anything is without question a remarkable feat. In a game where all parties had written off the Canadiens – down 5-0 to an impressive-looking New York Ranger team – Montreal…

Basketball

De-constructing a franchise: The story of Pete Babcock

Pete Babcock’s legacy with the Atlanta Hawks and the NBA is unforgettable. Life as a general manager in the NBA is difficult to say the least. Any job that relies on performers can be tumultuous, and injuries can often render a once promising season a failure. It is an often thankless position, where pleasing everyone may be the least realistic goal of all. That being said, there are ways to avoid displeasing everyone. Babcock never…

Other Sports

UFC’s hype lacks substance

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Ultimate Fighting Championship has one clear advantage over its main competition in the world of combat sports: Promotion. UFC President Dana White has the vast majority of the top talent in the sport of mixed martial arts, knows how to properly match that talent up with opponents, and knows how to make a run-of-the-mill matchup seem important. This makes it tough for any form of organized fighting…

Basketball

The name of the game

His game-time introduction echoes through the arena infinitely louder than all of the others. Spectators and opponents alike stop in silence as the announcement of his name and Alma Matter sends a familiar chill down their spines. He bears a strikingly undeniable resemblance to the man whose name he shares, and while his current stage may exist in a realm thats dimness contrasts the bright lights of Madison Square Garden he, like his father before…

Basketball

Gilbert Arenas: Internet killed the NBA star

Let’s get this straight, in 1991 the first web browser was invented. Though still far from the hands of the common public, this modern blueprint would put the ball in motion for a concept that would go on to overrun our society. As the number of North American households with access to cable and other forms of high speed internet grew, the content over which we fawned expanded to meet its demand. In 2000, a…

Hall of Fame

The ACC: Ten years later

When the Toronto Maple Leafs left Maple Leaf Gardens in 1999, the promotional slogan was “Memories and Dreams.” This tagline not only reflected on the moments that occurred in fabled hockey arena, but also the moments that would occur in the Leafs’ new arena, the Air Canada Centre. It has been 10 years now since the Air Canada Centre first opened. In its short history, the ACC has become one of the busiest arenas in…

Hockey

Fighting delivers a knock-out blow

A public opinion poll by Harris-Decima of over 1,000 Canadians recently revealed that although the numbers of those who want fighting out of hockey are up, they are not up enough to entice the NHL to actually do anything about it. Just 54 per cent want to see fighting removed, while 40 per cent feel the opposite. The rest had no opinion or had no answer. This is a complete contrast against the recent wave…